April 6, 2007

Pampers Finally Getting Rid Of VPL [Visible Pampers Lines]

elmo-free-pampers.jpgNaturally, this would happen just as we're getting traction again on the toilet training.

One of the things that bugged about Pampers is the needless decoration, which would hang out of the kid's pants and show through when she'd wear white.

When I emailed P&G early on in my diaperbuying to see if they couldn't offer premium, all-white diapers that, you know, didn't look so tacky, I got a canned response about how Pampers really likes to offer features that enhance its customer's experience, and I'm like "But this isn't a feature, it's an annoyance."

Last week, when the purple Cruisers we normally buy were out, we grabbed the greenish Stay-Dry, and I was stoked. There were easily 50% less Muppets, and no scattered decorations. The whole seat was just plain white. Like the clouds in heaven.

Of course, if your whole diaper routine is built around Elmospotting, you might be in trouble. From ""Here’s the story of how Pampers dissed Elmo, made my baby cry and insulted my intelligence.":

I decided to call Pampers and get an answer to that question. On Friday, I called the toll-free customer service line and asked what was up with the missing Elmo. (I didn’t identify myself as a newspaper reporter, just as a concerned mom.) The customer service representative told me this was a new change. She said they try new features from time to time. I said, “This isn’t a new feature, this is removing a feature.” She said that was the feature.
Like Taking Elmo From A Baby [lohudblogs.com]
Previously: Pampers of The World


Wha-h? Speaking as someone who largely depends on (mostly vintage pre-Elmo) Sesame Street-related toys, decorations and paraphenalia to ease his parenthood anxieties, I'm very concerned about this potential trend. If Elmo has to be in circulation, I figure diapers are the best place for him.

That said, I'm begrudgingly coming to terms with the realization that Elmo isn't really as horrible as I imagined. There's just WAY too much of him around, and he sucks the oxygen out of the play of the other characters.

Just the other day I was complaining to my other mom friends, that Huggies (which I selected as my diaper of choice because it had a white butt, so did not show through clothes) added a large Simba to the fanny...Maybe I'll move to diapers, which I once avoided because of the "Poop on me Elmo" plastered across the back.

Seventh Generation: no logos, new design works well. Also, no elemental chlorine bleach. (No chlorine at all except in the paper liner, which uses a chlorine compound which is safer than raw chlorine.)

Whole Foods brand: like the original Seventh Generation design, except all white instead of unbleached-looking-tan. No chlorine bleach, not even in a chlorine compound form (although they wouldn't put that in writing for me).

But it's just for Baby Dry, right? Waiting anxiously for them to do the same with Cruisers, which are 1,000 times better than Stay-dry, IMHO. Costco's Kirkland are also good - still have decorations, but just a generic leopard or something.

its about time...those patterns are so obnoxious! and now huggies is jumping on the bandwagon-all late.

That must be very annoying. We haven't had to suffer the muppet indignity, thankfully. The Fuzzi-buns cloth diapers we use are happily sans marketing nastiness.

I hate all the stuff they print on diapers. It's not that I'm anti-pooh, elmo, etc. I just think they put them on there to make the kids WANT to keep them on forever

[I think that's the main point. In our statistically unassailable sample of two, I can say that the kid wears Pampers and is Elmo-no-Disney, while her cousin wears Huggies and is all Disney, no Elmo. -ed.]

At least the Huggies Overnight finally moved the Simba from the front middle to the waistband. All of my daughters pajamas are stained brown in that area and I finally figured out it was because Simba's face was rubbing off on them. She's sensitive to the Seventh Generation ones and Pampers (which we normally love) don't hold the pee.

Er, cotton anyone?

Cool liners in non-baby "industrial complex" patterns.

Whole Foods and Seventh G are full of crap on this one. Single use items are just more landfill.

And hey, sometimes just "removing a feature IS a feature." LOL. That's awesome.

Landfill space is, overall, a less serious environmental issue than water waste and pesticides used in cotton production. *shrug*. Use cotton if you want, but overall the big-picture difference in environmental consequences is so small you shouldn't feel either smug or judgmental.

(If you want to do that, and really make a difference, get rid of your car.)

[I think they already did. It's not like there was parking in SF anyway...-ed.]

Wow, Matt, you are obviously a much wiser and better informed parent than I am. Shame on me. I never should have had kids.

My sincere apologies for offering up an (obviously wrong) alternative point of view. Here is my lunch money and my car keys. Oh, woe is me. I think I'll go do yoga and make some tied dyed long johns for our homeless population.

Look up sodium polyacrylate when you have a moment. "Shrug." Looks like yummy stuff, eh? Care to put some in your tighty whities?

Also, check out www.tinytots.com for more blue state propoganda on the cotton diaper issue.(I know, TinyTots is a spineless, liberal, California based, family run business. I'll even bet they are on the take from Big Cotton and Big Elmo. So, take what they have to say about Pampers, et. al., with a grain of hairy-organic-hippy-sellout-self-interest-sea-salt.)

Better yet, ask my little one. I am sure he would have no problem showing you his rash free bum.

Happy Easter.

[actually, Matt is saving his kid's diapers to use as insulation and as a moisture barrier on their straw-bale solar house. He could use some more, so if anyone has some extras to send his way... -ed.]

while matt is building his poo-daub house (you're pretty funny, greg, btw) he might ease up on the, "overall the big-picture difference in environmental consequences is so small" as pertains to water and energy. For a week's worth of diapers comparison (54 cloth vs 45 disposable) the amount of water used in manufacturing and laundering is not "so small". Cloth = 21.5 gallons, disposables = 79.6 gallons. Energy consumption, anybody? How bout for manufacturing and laundering; cloth = 55,579 Btu, disposables = 144,430 Btu. Of course all this is meaningless once you start using the Huggies as instead of vinyl siding.

[judging other peoples' parenting was so much easier when the only thing you needed to worry about was their stroller. That said, you don't flush poo from a cloth diaper? the kick-ass video mentioned above has emptying the poo into the toilet, then throwing the diaper in the hamper. That kicks up the cloth diaper's water use to at least the same as the disposables. There's a spectrum of factors and choices here, guys, it's not black or white. or green. Personally, I find the tone of the tinytots.com site to be about as condescending as you clothies find Matt's comment. There's not A single, definitive answer to what is one of a constellation of lifestyle decisions that impact the environment. That said, am I right in assuming we all agree the EC people are crazy? -ed.]

Wow, touchy. You don't happen to be basing a lot of your personal identity on this issue, are you? 'Cause it sucks when you stake so much on something like that and then the facts turn out to be not so clear-cut in reality.

The site you refer to is a for-profit business -- not exactly unbiased. Rather than that, or the numbers apparently pulled from the air in the other post, I refer you to the People's Republic of Cambridge, MA's Union of Concerned Scientists. In their excellent book The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices, they give an overview of studies funded by both sides of the issue and their various conclusions -- and again, reach the point that the difference either way isn't that huge in the big picture.

You'll find it in the section entitled "Don't Worry or Feel Guilty about Unimportant Decisions" -- and I think we can pretty safely extrapolate that to include "And Quit Feeling so Smug about Them."

As for super-absorbent polymer, I'm not exactly sure what you want me to be scared of. Here, buy a bunch to play in, if you like. (And I do like Greg's idea.)

you're correct as regards the flushing of contents. But if we assume that we flush 3 poos away per day (and neither of my two achieve more than two per day), at 1.6 gallons per flush we get an additional 33.6 gallons per week making a grand total of 54.1 gallons of water used. Still considerably less than 79.6 for disposables. But more importantly, a point that matt glosses over in the "landfill space" argument, is that the flushed fecal matter is treated to produce potable water as opposed to seeping down into the water table where we can all get the opportunity to gulp its various and potent flora to our hearts content.
But if we really want to get to the personal with it... While everyone seems to be hunting for the bargain pampers, I have completed the diaper purchases I will require for my two-year old and my six week old. Though initially more costly, my $600.00 investment in cloth diapers (for a 18 each in two different sizes) represents my total diaper outlay for two kids. How much will the disposable users put out over the course of their kids' diaper days? $1000.00 per year per child? Even if we factor in the laundering costs, which in my case have raised my utility bill no more than 20 extra dollars per month, I still come out ahead. Oh, and when my kids are done and the diapers have been thoroughly cleaned, they resell on ebay for no less than half their original cost. I admit it doesn't insulate my house, but my kids' 529 plan loves me.
So, matt, it isn't personal identity. In the end, it's economics. The power of the purse. Go ahead with your justifications for disposables, but the only thing you're really tossing in the trash is your income.

Actually, Matt, I thought your "smug and judgemental" comment was a little quick and way off base.

The bitch here was baby industrial complex cartoons peaking out through white shorts. Yes?

We don't have that problem becuase we use cotton and we can pick from and endless array of liners to suit the occasion. No judgement there, it was our personal choice, nothing more.

Whole Foods and Safeway have no business pushing their line of disposables because they are 100%, single use, chem filled, garbage. WF touts itselfs as "eco-friendly," and sucks you into buying their stuff on that premis/guilt trip. Nothing smug there, eh?

I also didn't own a car for 14 years. I walked to work or used public transportation while living in a bunch of different places, both in the US and abroad. We now live over our business, so I have no commute. My wife stays at home with our son, and we walk to most of our outside activities when the weather/distance allows. So, can I get a carbon credit there?

Our business also recycles or composts over 75% of our waste, which is pretty decent for a commercial food operation. Plus, we support as many local vendors as possible for our supplies.

Am I "smug" about it? No, becuase I really don't give a rats bum what other people think. You asked, so there you are.

The choice to go with cotton was an easy one for us, and the "uppity" TinyTots service is first rate. We use Tushies on road trips and as back ups. The kid only rashes up when teething. No judgement there, just what works for us.

Now, if you really want to get into the Pampers/Cotton thing, find someone else to fight with. I really don't have time for it beyond what I have already said.

By biggest lesson since having our son was getting over the "condescending" tone in every child related issue. No matter what, someone always seems to be telling you that you are not being a responsible parent because of this or that. I have learned to just listen, maybe learn something, and get on with it.

Unless someone is really going over the top on me, the last thing I do is drop the "judgemental and smug" bomb, especially if I don't know them. Trust me, I live at "Smug" ground zero.

I am actually a total convert to Baby-Dry from the Cruisers line. The Baby-Dry diapers are now exactly like the Cruisers used to be - before they changed their insides to that stupid mess stuff that lets the little magic chemical-laden goop leak out. Plus, Baby Dry dipes are cheaper and like you noticed - less colorful crap. Baby Dry for the win.

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